I’ve been back in New Hampshire longer now than I was out on the road for the book tour; it’s been more than three months. And the distance from that adventuring time keenly manifests itself now in my interactions with other people. The other week, I attended a gathering of strangers and lost the nerve to talk to people, even in the interest of brazen self-promotion, which was the concern of most everyone else. At an early opportunity, I fled. O regard him, the man who gave hundreds of interviews, including at least a dozen on TV, who faced Al the Mad Roker, and who coolly deflected dick jokes from Australians and spoke in radio-friendly bites and learned to smile into a dark lens– ridiculous! Where was that calibrated persona now?
I’ve seen flashes of him in recent job interviews, perhaps because they more closely resemble media appearances than do ordinary conversations. Questions like “What was a recent work-related challenge and how did you overcome it?” are begging for a canned response and a shit-eating grin, wouldn’t you say? (Though occasionally there is the temptation to go off-script and say something like, “Hmm, in five years I see myself swaying gently beneath an oak branch.”) So now the goal is to take that glib bastard and apply him to more informal scenarios, where humans tend to meet and converse, the world somewhere outside the frosted windows of my Portsmouth apartment.
It’s been a womb of sorts, or perhaps a tomb. New England winter and cold tongues outside, while inside we have warmth and writing and my books and games, and Jane returning regularly to warm things still further (though not over this particular, particularly long weekend). Too easy to stay inside and let the Skill of relating fall dormant, while other Skills wax.
No more, friends! (I address this to the furry, stuffed friends lounging on the blankets.) To the outer realms once more I go, to re-remember what it’s like to be a certified member of the human race. I’ll gather my threadbare clothes about me, and name myself Writer, and I will be interesting and congenial and I will share stories and listen to those of others and occasionally steal them for later.
By the way, the bloom is off the rose for this WordPress app. Why should link pasting be so effing difficile?
One of the furry friends